Governor Hogan released his Fiscal 2021 budget this week. From the Governor’s press release, the budget…
funds Marylanders’ top priorities, including crime, education, transportation, and the environment, while delivering on Governor Hogan’s promise to restore fiscal responsibility to Annapolis. This budget is 100% structurally balanced, limits budget growth to 1 percent without raising taxes or cutting services, and maintains more than $1.3 billion in reserves.
As reported by Maryland Reporter,
Hogan said money for public safety will comprise a large part of the budget. He referenced the five people who were killed and 12 injured in eight separate shootings in Baltimore on Saturday as an example of the urgent need to address violent crime.
Hogan said $74.5 million will be allocated to local governments for police aid. He said $38.7 million will go to local law enforcement grants and $3 million will be allocated to facilitate recruitment and retainment of officers.
Hogan said $6.9 million will go toward crime prevention, prosecution efforts, and witness protection. Meanwhile, more than $270 million will go to community and residential operations to care for youths under the supervision of the Department of Juvenile Services.
On education, Hogan claimed “record” spending. He said $7.3 billion will go to K-12 education and more than $350 million will be allocated to fund the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission.
Reaction to the Governor’s budget by the General Assembly has been upbeat. As reported by Maryland Matters,
…On Wednesday, though, Democrats said they were pleased to hear that Hogan’s 2021 budget proposal fully funds a $350 million mandate to implement education reform initiatives from the Kirwan Commission, sets aside a chunk of the state’s capital budget for school construction, and funds critical transportation projects including the Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore.
“We are really pleased that there is an upfront recognition of the money that the legislature has set aside for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future for our children,” House Appropriations Chairwoman Maggie L. McIntosh (D-Baltimore City) said, referring to the Kirwan Commission-inspired education reforms. “…In terms of transportation projects, public safety, health, the environment, so on and so forth … the devil’s in the details and we just need time to go through those details. But it’s generally a very upbeat, good budget at this point.”
Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) said there are substantial areas of agreement in the proposed 2021 budget, but lawmakers have a lot of “hard conversations” ahead when it comes to getting the state to increase public education funding by billions of dollars over the next 10 years.